LAUNCHED just over a year ago Serco South Africa has processed more than two million calls since opening for business in Cape Town in September 2012.
The global Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firm, which has an international staff of more than 100-thousand employees in 11 countries, has employed more than 400 local staff.
“This is the first time that we have had a team out in South Africa and they have quickly started to produce some excellent results for our client, Shop Direct. We are delighted with what we have been able to achieve in a relatively short space of time and now have a good platform from which to grow,” Operations Director for Serco South Africa Brandon Aitken said.
Globally, Serco serves a range of international and domestic customers in sectors such as banking, insurance and retail. The company’s entry into South Africa supports their corporate strategy to enter new geographies, where they see growth potential for their services.
South Africa brings a large talent pool to the table, offering excellent English capabilities and domain expertise in various sectors, including financial services and insurance. It also brings advantages of a similar time zone to the United Kingdom.
“Serco has added a new dimension to our team. Bringing in another geographic location allows us the flexibility and contingency that a business of our size and scale absolutely needs,” Outsourced Services Director, Shop Direct Group, Tim Sunley said of the local operation.
Cape Town is fast becoming a hot destination for the call centre and BPO sector, with an announcement of further investments and the creation of many jobs. Currently the sector is worth an estimated R8bn to the economy and employs 38,000 people.
The sector has delivered a massive boost to the region’s economic growth and has created a number of opportunities, especially for young job seekers, the demographic with the highest rate of unemployment in the region.
“Mentorship and skills development is key,” Partnership Director for Serco South Africa, Fagri Semaar said. “We have a readily available and accessible talent pool in South Africa and are eager to invest in local resources. Serco South Africa has created a number of exciting opportunities both locally and eventually into the rest Africa, when we broaden and expand our investments into the region.”
Business process outsourcing and offshoring contributed R7.9bn to the Cape Town’s GDP in 2011; it has grown 10.5% year on year since 2008, according to Business Process Enabling South Africa (BPeSA.) Recently named winner of the National Outsourcing Association’s Offshoring Destination of the Year Award, Serco’s investment in Cape Town is a further endorsement of the city’s ability to host major global brands, which include the likes of Amazon, Asda, British Gas, Shell, Shop Direct and T-Mobile.